All inclusive Cuba vacations – all you need to know
Getting away for a winter vacation somewhere hot and sunny is a tradition for many Canadians. For some, it’s an annual event. For others it’s a rare opportunity. But whatever you budget and timeline, you can’t go wrong with a Cuba vacations! And to truly get an authentic Cuban experience, tag on a few days in Havana and a small-group tour of areas beyond the resorts.
Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. It is also one of the safest and friendliest. With its gorgeous white beaches and old-world charm, thousands of Canadians flock there every year to vacation.
When is the best TO BOOK ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS?
The best time of the year to visit Cuba is between November and April when rain is minimal. The average temperature during this time is a high of about 28º C and a low of 19º C.
Where is Cuba located?
Cuba is located in the Caribbean Sea between the Gulf of Mexico and the North Atlantic Ocean, about 170 km from Key West, Florida. The closest countries are Jamaica to the south and Haiti to the east.
What language is spoken in Cuba?
Cubans speak mostly Spanish, as well as English in the tourism industry.
What are the main industries in Cuba?
The main industries in Cuba are tobacco (cigars), coffee, sugar and rum. But their largest industry is tourism.
ARE ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS overcrowded with tourists?
Surprisingly, Cuba is not overrun by tourists. This could be due in part because of travel restrictions still imposed on our American neighbours. It could also be due to the high proliferation of all-inclusive resorts that line the ocean shore, particularly in Varadero. With so many to choose from, there is little chance of overcrowding.
“With fewer Americans traveling to Cuba, there are lots of accommodations available,” says TierOne Travel specialist Murray Gudmudson. “There’s still time plenty of time to book a winter vacation.”
Is booking ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS through a travel agency necessary?
Gudmudson recommends going through a travel agent to get the best deals and to customize your trip to ensure it meets your expectations. “We can help you with all the need-to-knows,” he says. “We have the inside scoop on the best places to stay, no matter what your budget.”
Some of those ‘need-to-knows’ include booking your accommodation before your flights and being aware of the need to get a tourist card when you arrive in Cuba and pay a departure tax when you leave.
Is everything ‘really’ included DURING AN ALL-INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATION?
One of the major advantages of staying at a Cuba all-inclusive resort is money, or rather the fact that you don’t have to carry a lot of cash! Nearly everything is included under one price tag when you stay at a Cuba all inclusive. The inclusions will vary depending upon each resort, but generally you can expect all of your meals, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, on-site activities, and non-motorozied watersport rentals to be included.
Is Varadero a good location FOR ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS?
Only two hours from the capital city of Havana, Varadero is the largest resort area in Cuba. Tourists are drawn to its 20-km stretch of pristine sandy white beaches and more than 52 hotels and resorts. Of the one million tourists who travel to Varadero each year, most are from Europe (55%) and Canada. There is also an international airport just 16 km away, which attracts people from all over the globe.
Varadero is often called the Riviera of Cuba because of its many all-inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches. There’s something for everyone – couples, families, friends and coworkers … even destination weddings! It’s the perfect destination to stay at for Cuba vacations.
What activities can I do during my ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATION?
Cuba all-inclusive resorts are not short on activities. Snorkel and explore coral reefs. Go scuba diving and discover underwater caves. Charter a yacht and go fishing. Water ski and try wake boarding, perhaps even paragliding or kit surfing. You can also go on a catamaran cruise or tour the waters around the island in a glass-bottom boat.
You can also relax by the pool, many of which have waterslides, waterfalls and even swim-up bars. Some resorts even have lagoon pools. And if you like to golf, there are two golf courses in Varadero. The possibilities are endless.
What attractions in or near Varadero can I visit during my ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATION?
- Parque Josone: A park in the middle of Varadero filled with birds, vendors, music and camel rides for the kids.
- Tropicana Matanzas: The newest Tropicana – the most famous cabaret of Cuba. It’s a full-scale production with Cuban dance, music and history in dazzling costumes and lighting effects.
- Delfinario: A dolphin show that also includes an option to actually swim with the dolphins.
- Bellamar Caves: One of the oldest tourist attractions in Cuba it has been open to visitors since the 1860s.
- Scuba Dive Bay of Pigs: You can scuba many areas along the coast, but the Bay of Pigs is quite spectacular.
What other locations have good-all inclusive resorts FOR ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS?
Varadero might be the most popular, but it’s not the only location in Cuba to find an all-inclusive resort. They can also be found in areas such as Cayo Coco, Santa Lucia and Guadalavaca. Contact one of our travel specialists to find out which location would be perfect for you.
Is Cayo Coco a good Travel destination FOR ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATIONS?
Cayo Coco is a bird lover’s paradise. There are over 200 species of birds on the island, including a large colony of flamingos. The island is even named after the white ibis bird, which locals call the coco bird.
Located on the Atlantic side of Cuba, Cayo Coco is connected by a 27-km causeway, which was built in 1988. It is entirely uninhabited except for tourism infrastructures such as hotels and marinas. It even has its own international airport.
What is the currency in Cuba?
In Cuba, cash is king. Tourists have to pay with Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC). One CUC is equal to $1 USD or $1.33 CAD. And although some venues take credit cards, not all do, and only certain credit cards are accepted. As well, there are very few ATMs available in Cuba. Debit cards and Canadian transfers are not accepted at all.
It’s illegal to take CUC out of the country, so you’ll have to exchange your Canadian money for CUC at the airport when you arrive in Cuba. You’ll have to exchange it again to Canadian currency when you leave.
Is Havana worth visiting on my Cuba VACATION?
A trip to Cuba should include some time in the capital city of Havana. We recommend you spend at least three days exploring, either before or after you spend a week or so at a Cuba all-inclusive resort.
Havana is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. In many ways, it’s like time has stood still. The U.S. has maintained an economic embargo against Cuba since 1960, when Fidel Castro became president following the Cuban revolution. As a result, classic cars from the ‘40s and ‘50s are still plentiful in Cuba, particularly in Havana.
There are approximately 60,000 classic American cars still on the road. And Cubans are very proud of their mechanical ingenuity in keeping them running and in good repair. If you are an automobile aficionado, you will love seeing all of the classic Chevrolets, Fords, Pontiacs, Dodges, Plymouths and even Studebakers. And you can ride in them as taxis or even rent them to take for a spin.
Havana has so much to offer
Havana is a fascinating city with its rich history, incredible architecture, culture and art. There are street musicians on every corner and the city comes alive at night with its many bars, discotheques, cafes and cabarets.
Havana’s famous Tropicana Nightclub Show is not to be missed. And a walk along the Malecon boardwalk at night while drinking rum and smoking Cuban cigars is another iconic activity.
Discover Ernest Hemingway’s old hangouts such as the La Bodeguita del Medio bar or the El Floridita bar in Old Havana. Hemingway spent 20 years in Cuba and after a day of writing could be found drinking daiquiris and swapping stories with the locals. The historic city centre was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1982.
How I can experience Cuba authentically DURING MY ALL INCLUSIVE CUBA VACATION?
To round out your island experience, you join a small-group tour. Your TierOne Travel agent can find you the perfect tour to match your interests. In addition to general tours, you can book tours that focus on music, dance, art, history, architecture, ocean adventures, biking, hiking and even industries such as tobacco, sugar and coffee. Some tours include Havana as part of a package deal.
Before or after your stay at a Cuba all-inclusive resort, these small-group tours offer exclusive and intimate island experiences. You’ll learn more about the Cuban lifestyle by staying with actual families in casas particulares, which are run by homeowners who rent rooms to tourists. They vary in quality and size and most include breakfast of fruit, bread, ham, eggs, juice and coffee. Some also provide dinner, which usually consists of chicken or fish, rice, beans and salad.
“It’s a great way to experience the culture and interact with Cubans,” says Gudmudson. “But not all casas particulares are ideal. There is a wide range of good and bad.”
To stay safe, book CUBA tours through your travel agent
He advises against “winging it” and, instead, booking a small-group tour through a trusted travel agent to make sure the homes are clean and safe. “That way, we can make sure they are vetted for quality.”
TierOne Travel specialists know the best tours for your budget. There are many tour companies and tour guides, but not all are qualified. Some Cubans moonlight as guides, but don’t even own their own vehicles. That could leave you vulnerable and on the hook to pay for an expensive car rental.
Learn more about what to look for when considering a Cuba all-inclusive vacation by clicking here. Your TierOne Travel specialist can find the perfect resort for your budget and your wishes.
If you would like to find out more about a fun getaway to Cuba, contact one of our TierOne travel specialists! They have extensive experience in life-changing travel and will be able to craft something that is suited to your unique needs.